Market News & Headlines >> Trump to Withdraw From TransPacific Partnership

In a move that should not have come as a surprise to anyone, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he would kill the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on his first day in office on Jan. 20. 

Trump made scuttling the TPP one of the cornerstones of his presidential campaign and the deal died in Congress the day after the Nov. 8 presidential election with the outgoing Obama administration saying it would no longer pursue passage. 

U.S. agricultural groups have no doubt already been busy reworking their trade strategies. Numerous U.S. agriculture groups had backed the 12-nation TPP deal, which included lower tariffs for many U.S. agricultural exports to key Asian markets such as Japan and South Korea. 

In a letter to congressional leaders last spring, a broad coalition of 225 food and agricultural groups had called on lawmakers to pass the TPP before President Obama left office. The signees included most major U.S. producer groups including the America Farm Bureau Federation, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council. 

Japan and Australia have pledged to push ahead on the TPP, but  the scope of the pact would be significantly smaller without the U.S. presence. Trump’s abandonment of the TPP could potentially open the door for China to forge stronger trade ties in Asia. China, Japan and South Korea are already holding initial discussions over a potential three-way trade deal. 

Meanwhile, Beijing continues to push its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as an alternative to TPP. That plan would involve the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six nations with which they already have trade agreements: Australia China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. RCEP excludes the United States.